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Maxim Institute's Grasp on Reality Alarming

Maxim Institute's Grasp on Reality Alarming

In a Media Release issued today, 2nd August, the Maxim Institute complained about comments made by about it by Government Minister David Benson-Pope and Minister of Religion Margaret Mayman.

The Maxim Institute claimed to be alarmed about "false allegations" made against it and appears to be particularly sensitive to accusations that it makes statements that are less than accurate. According to the press release, "Maxim ensures that statements and evidence presented in the public debate is accurate and verifiable".

Here are some examples of statements made by Maxim that are not accurate:

In an opinion piece published in the New Zealand Herald on 3rd October 2003, ( http://www.maxim.org.nz/main_pages/news_page/brothels.html) Maxim claimed that The New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective receives $150,000 a month from taxpayers. In fact, the NZPC gets a little over $52,000 per month to run 6 offices around the country.

At http://www.maxim.org.nz/main_pages/current_page/current_10reasons.html maxim provides 10 reasons why the Prostitution Reform Bill should not have been passed. One of its claims is that "A Christchurch School of Medicine study found that nearly two-thirds of Christchurch street prostitutes were under the age of 18.". This is untrue. The study found 12 prostitutes under the age of 18, out of 303 surveyed. Do the math.

In its submission to the the Select Committee considering the Care of Children Bill, Maxim states "John D. Unwin, a British anthropologist, studied 80 civilisations. In his 1934 study Sex and Culture... All well and good, except that Unwin was not an anthropologist and his forenames were Joseph Daniel. Oddly enough, these same errors are made on several American fundamentalist websites which mention Unwin to support their views. Maxim obviously lifted the quote from one of these sites, without having read Unwin's book.

We could go on, but there are too many untruths, inaccuracies and distortions in Maxim's use of data to list in a single press release. One statement Maxim makes is true: it is a charitable organisation, which entitles it to generous tax advantages. This is curious, since organisations whose primary objectives are political are not allowed charitable status.

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